Why are homeowners and contractors using steel framing? Here are 5 reasons:

Originally posted at BuildSteel.org

1. Steel is non-combustible

Steel can’t burn, because it contains no elements that can serve as fuel. Steel provides no means for a fire to start, does not contribute to fire growth or fire spread and does not contribute to the generation of smoke and toxic combustion products in fires.

2. Steel maintains its non-combustibility

Steel remains non-combustible throughout the entire lifecycle of the building — during building construction, occupation and future renovation and repair.

3. Steel-framed buildings lower the fire risk to workers and occupants

Decades of research into understanding the behavior of structural steel components when exposed to fire has given designers the confidence to engineer buildings that will provide optimum fire safety.

Fire resistance-rated walls and floors help limit or slow the spread of flames in a building and maintain the integrity of the structure.

4. Steel-framed buildings lower the impact on municipal fire services

Recent building code changes that permit increased building heights and areas for wood framing have had devastating results. A rash of catastrophic, multi-story, wood-frame building fires in Canada and the United States have destroyed entire building complexes.

Such fires have challenged the resources of fire services. They have prompted several municipalities to implement site-safety regulations during the construction of combustible buildings that will ultimately increase the construction costs and timeframes of projects. Some cities, such as the affluent Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, are working to ban combustible framing above three stories.

5. Steel-framed buildings tend to cost less to insure

Insurers traditionally offer steel-framed structures lower builders risk and general liability premiums compared to structures framed with wood.